Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Walking With Dinosaurs, Wed 25 March 2015 ****1/2
The Arena Spectacular, by Global Creatures
Hisense Arena, 25-29 March 2015
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars ****1/2Full review only published here. Very truncated review was published in print in News pages, Thurs 26 March 2015 but full review ran online in Arts pages, Herald Sun. KH
All pics below by Joe Calleri from Media Call today, Wed 25 March 2015 at Hisense Arena.
This is not C.G.I.(Computer Generated Imagery)! These scaly, feathered and ferocious dinosaurs are real!
Well, they may not be the real flesh and bone of those 65 million-year-old dinosaurs, but they are certainly realistic and quite a bit scary – except for the cute, baby dinos, of course.
For any junior dinosaur fanatics – a title that describes most kids from 5 to 12 years – this is a Jurassic treat that titillates and terrifies parents and children alike.
We journey through 200 million years of the dinosaurs’ reign on earth, witnessing the splitting of continents, the transformations in the landscape from parched, Triassic deserts to the lush greenery of the Jurassic period.
In this rapid fast-forward through millennia, Huxley the Palaeontologist (Andrew Blackman) narrates the earth’s tale of volcanic eruptions, oceanic turmoil and even bush fires.
The transformational set (Peter England), atmospheric music (James Brett) and evocative sound design (Peter Hylenski) transport us back in time, conjuring storms, battles, geological shifts and meteorological events.
We see the evolution of these creatures, watch the carnivorous dinosaurs evolve to walk on two legs and the herbivores escape from their predators.
Finally, we witness their eventual extinction after the impact of a giant comet on the earth.
There are 20 Dinosaurs on stage, including the frighteningly enormous Tyrannosaurus Rex that stands about 13 metres long and 7 metres tall.
He is joined by ten more large dinos, including Plateosaurus, Torosaurus, Stegosaurus and an Allosaurus, as well as performers costumed in suits as feathered Utahraptors.
This epic performance, directed by Scott Faris and staged at the cavernous Hisense Arena, is not only fun for the family, but it is also stimulating and educational.
These life-size, animatronic creatures, designed and built by Sonny Tilders and Global Creatures, keep evolving with each new production of the show.
Some of the dinosaurs now boast new and distinctive display feathers, head crests and tail fans, and the addition of these new physical features is based on the latest, 21st century scientific research into these magnificent and mysterious beasts.
Not only do they look spectacular, but they roar and growl, communicating through extraordinarily lifelike vocalisations that seem to emerge from their huge jaws.
If you saw Global Creatures/Dreamworks’ production of How To Train Your Dragon, you’ll have some sense of the mighty, powerful and imposing animals that roam this stage.
More than eight million people in 243 cities over 2,000 performances have watched Walking With Dinosaurs and the adrenalin is still pulsing.
Look out for that T-Rex. He’s a doozy.
By Kate Herbert